A  couple of days ago Bre Pettis was featured on the Steven Colbert report.   It was an amazing event.   Bre Pettis and Makerbot continue to become more than just “Geek Star” famous.   THE  best part of the show happens at the 4:39 mark!

http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/videos/yvz8wj/bre-pettis

Steven Colbert: “How you going to make your money? Just Like.  Just like copiers, you’re going to get us on the toner.  Aren’t you?”

Bre Pettis: “We’ll resist that temptation!”

How many other 3D printing companies can say that?   What about inkjet companies?

If 3D printing is truly going to change the world, then charging 10X or 30X or 50X for supplies is not going to make this happen…

16 Comments on Making Money: Colbert vs Pettis

  1. bre says:

    I didn’t really get a chance to explain my philosophy behind this.

    Plastic is a commodity, you can route around us to get it, but it’s not easy to get good stuff. We obsess over the quality of our plastic and offer a good value. We’re a business, so we put a markup on our costs, but it’s a reasonable markup that allows us to keep the lights on and sell to distributors so they can make money too.

    We also try and do absurd things to explore possibilities. You’ll see some crazy colors coming out soon at store.makerbot.com. 🙂

  2. bre says:

    I didn’t really get a chance to explain my philosophy behind this.

    Plastic is a commodity, you can route around us to get it, but it’s not easy to get good stuff. We obsess over the quality of our plastic and offer a good value. We’re a business, so we put a markup on our costs, but it’s a reasonable markup that allows us to keep the lights on and sell to distributors so they can make money too.

    We also try and do absurd things to explore possibilities. You’ll see some crazy colors coming out soon at store.makerbot.com. 🙂

  3. Julie Reece says:

    We have the lowest materials/operating costs of any 3D printer at just $2-$3 USD per cubic inch (including all post-processing materials, etc.). Also, all unused build material is recycled in the printer for subsequent builds, which reduces wasted material. It’s also the only technology capable of printing in multiple colors simultaneously – just like a regular document inkjet printer (as opposed to other technologies claiming a color capability that are printing on one single color material at a time).

  4. Julie Reece says:

    We have the lowest materials/operating costs of any 3D printer at just $2-$3 USD per cubic inch (including all post-processing materials, etc.). Also, all unused build material is recycled in the printer for subsequent builds, which reduces wasted material. It’s also the only technology capable of printing in multiple colors simultaneously – just like a regular document inkjet printer (as opposed to other technologies claiming a color capability that are printing on one single color material at a time).

  5. adreama says:

    I think the key to overcoming the potential material costs for the commercial operations is for the open source community to focus on developing 3D printing technology that uses *really* cheap materials, in particular recycled materials. I’ve suggested on my blog about 3D printing papier-mache, which is recycled (free) paper and flour (which is dirt cheap). See:

    http://adreama.blogspot.com/20.....paper.html

    • admin says:

      We’ve been suggesting printing in lost cost materials for quite some time (thus we agree with you). Our lowest cost material is sugar. We have a recipe called sugar-sugar which costs about $0.30/lb. Printing in paper dust has come up several times in discussions at conferences (it came up again at the 2011 GAS conference). We think it would work similar to wood and have similar properties.

  6. adreama says:

    I think the key to overcoming the potential material costs for the commercial operations is for the open source community to focus on developing 3D printing technology that uses *really* cheap materials, in particular recycled materials. I’ve suggested on my blog about 3D printing papier-mache, which is recycled (free) paper and flour (which is dirt cheap). See:

    http://adreama.blogspot.com/20.....paper.html

    • admin says:

      We’ve been suggesting printing in lost cost materials for quite some time (thus we agree with you). Our lowest cost material is sugar. We have a recipe called sugar-sugar which costs about $0.30/lb. Printing in paper dust has come up several times in discussions at conferences (it came up again at the 2011 GAS conference). We think it would work similar to wood and have similar properties.

  7. bre says:

    This inspired us to figure out how much it cost to print on a Makerbot. Depending on solidity, it’s between $.15 and $.46 a cubic inch including power costs!

    http://www.makerbot.com/blog/2.....-is-cheap/

  8. bre says:

    This inspired us to figure out how much it cost to print on a Makerbot. Depending on solidity, it’s between $.15 and $.46 a cubic inch including power costs!

    http://www.makerbot.com/blog/2.....-is-cheap/

  9. Sean Taffert says:

    I’ve been toying with an idea that would allow people to create their own printable materials with good quality control, no experimentation required. The best would be to help people use what is considered waste and reuse/recycle it. $2-$4 /cu. in. is expensive once you add a machine for $100k that needs constant love. I know.

    A self constructed “Recycl-O-Tron” is a better answer to world wide production waste.

    Bre, keep it up.

    • ganter says:

      Sean, seems like many people have been toying with that idea. If you look on Kickstarter, you will find the “Filabot”. A filament production robot with a goal of producing filament out of recycled materials. Check it out.

  10. Sean Taffert says:

    I’ve been toying with an idea that would allow people to create their own printable materials with good quality control, no experimentation required. The best would be to help people use what is considered waste and reuse/recycle it. $2-$4 /cu. in. is expensive once you add a machine for $100k that needs constant love. I know.

    A self constructed “Recycl-O-Tron” is a better answer to world wide production waste.

    Bre, keep it up.

    • ganter says:

      Sean, seems like many people have been toying with that idea. If you look on Kickstarter, you will find the “Filabot”. A filament production robot with a goal of producing filament out of recycled materials. Check it out.

  11. Terence Tam says:

    Looking at recent numbers for plastic filament costs for DIY printers and comparing it to what I pay for injection molding resin, the steady price increase is pretty obscene. While a DIY printed part is less dense and thus uses less material, the mechanical properties probably suffer as a result of that too.

    I started out wanting to design an injection moldable Prusa Mendel, but decided to address the problem of building 3D Printers by developing an open-sourced extruded aluminum profile system instead. Check out my Kickstarter project at:

    http://www.kickstarter.com/pro.....uction-sys

  12. Terence Tam says:

    Looking at recent numbers for plastic filament costs for DIY printers and comparing it to what I pay for injection molding resin, the steady price increase is pretty obscene. While a DIY printed part is less dense and thus uses less material, the mechanical properties probably suffer as a result of that too.

    I started out wanting to design an injection moldable Prusa Mendel, but decided to address the problem of building 3D Printers by developing an open-sourced extruded aluminum profile system instead. Check out my Kickstarter project at:

    http://www.kickstarter.com/pro.....uction-sys

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